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Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

Twice exiled, first from his birthplace, Hungary, and then from the United States as a Vietnam draft resistor, Stephen settles in Montreal, Quebec, and becomes obsessed with W. H. Auden’s poem, ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’ and Bruegel’s painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, an obsession about the nature of suffering and art that leads to his attempted suicide and subsequent chaos in his life. Upon his discharge from a mental institute, he attends several sessions with his psychiatrist with whom he has am adversarial relationship wherein they explore his false reliance on literature as the only way to define and relate to the world. Stephen reflects on his past life, the dissolution of his marriage, and his abiding yet potentially destructive passion for books. After his discharge from the mental institute and while undergoing therapy and merciless self-evaluation, Stephen receives a mysterious phone call that leads him to an exploration of his failed relationships with women and a final surprise resolution to his search for meaning and redemption.

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